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Organ Transplants
4:38 pm
Fri March 15, 2013

Ala. Children's Hospital Begins Organ Transplants

Children's of Alabama says the hospital has begun to perform organ transplants this week.
Credit Google

Officials at Children's of Alabama have announced the hospital has begun performing organ transplants.


Hospital spokeswoman Kathy Bowers says the hospital performed its first heart transplant earlier this week.


Before getting approval from the United Network for Organ Sharing, patients who needed heart, liver or kidney transplants were transferred from Children's to UAB Hospital, then back to Children's of Alabama for post-operative treatment.

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Strange-Gun Control Legislation
4:29 pm
Fri March 15, 2013

Ala. AG Strange Promises To Challenge Gun Control Bills

Ala. Attorney General Luther Strange has promised to challenge in court two gun control bills that were approved by the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee if they become law.
Credit lutherstrange.com

Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange has promised to challenge in court two gun control bills that were approved by the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee if they become law.

The Senate Judiciary Committee voted Thursday to approve a ban on semi-automatic weapons and ammunition magazines that carry more than ten rounds. The bill names more than 150 weapons that would be banned.

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Baldwin County Interchange
8:01 am
Fri March 15, 2013

Ala. Governor to Attend Interchange Groundbreaking

The Baldwin Beach Express.
aaroads.com

Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley will participate in groundbreaking ceremonies for an interchange on Interstate 10 in Baldwin County with the Baldwin Beach Express.


The governor will be joined at 10 a.m. Friday by other state and local officials at the intersection of the Baldwin Beach Express and U.S. 90 near Robertsdale for the groundbreaking.

2009 Tax Refunds
7:52 am
Fri March 15, 2013

IRS: Time for 2009 Tax Refunds Running Out

The IRS says about 16,000 Alabama taxpayers who did not file a federal income tax refund for 2009 could have a refund waiting for them. Deadline is April 15, 2013.

The Internal Revenue Service says an estimated 16,000 Alabama taxpayers who did not file a federal income tax refund in 2009 may have more than $13 million in refunds awaiting them.

The IRS estimates that half of the potential refunds will exceed $565 each.


An IRS spokesman says taxpayers seeking a refund must file a 2009 tax return by April 15, or it's too late. That's because any return seeking a refund must be filed within three years of the original deadline or the money becomes property of the U.S. Treasury.

Air Manufacturers-Lawsuits
5:02 pm
Thu March 14, 2013

Ala. Lawmakers Near Final Passage Of Airbus Bill

The bill places a 12-year limit on filing lawsuits against Airbus as a result of an accident involving a plane built at the new plant in Mobile.
Credit Airbus

Legislation to help protect Airbus from lawsuits involving planes built at the new plant in Mobile has moved closer to final passage in the Alabama Legislature.


The House voted unanimously Thursday for the bill that places a 12-year limit on filing lawsuits as a result of an accident involving a plane built at the new plant. A lawsuit would have to involve a problem with the airplane that arose within 12 years of when the plane was sold.

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Private School Tax Credits
4:36 pm
Thu March 14, 2013

Governor Bentley Signs Private School Tax Credit Bill

Governor Robert Bentley has signed a bill providing tax credits to parents who send their children to private schools instead of failing public schools.
Credit governor.alabama.gov

Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley wasted no time in signing legislation providing tax credits to parents who send their children to private schools instead of failing public schools.


The Alabama Supreme Court decided late Wednesday afternoon to throw out a lower court order that kept the Legislature from sending the bill to the governor for signing. The Legislature delivered the bill Thursday morning and Bentley signed it just before 11 a.m.

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VictoryLand Reopening
4:26 pm
Thu March 14, 2013

VictoryLand Reopening Simulcast Race Wagering

VictoryLand in Shorter will resume betting on simulcast horse and dog races on Friday.
Credit AP Photo/Montgomery Advertiser, Mickey Welsh

VictoryLand in Shorter will resume betting on simulcast horse and dog races on Friday.


Owner Milton McGregor said the simulcast operation will open at 10:30 a.m. and wagering will start at 11 a.m.


The entire VictoryLand operation has been closed since the state attorney general raided its casino Feb. 19. The casino remains closed. McGregor said he's happy to put some of the employees back to work in the simulcast operation. He said the simulcast races will be offered Wednesdays through Sundays.

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Alabama Immigration
8:35 am
Thu March 14, 2013

Ala. Granting DLs for Immigrants Under Obama Rule

Alabama Department of Public Safety/dps.alabama.gov

The state of Alabama says it will allow hundreds of immigrants to take driver license tests under a new Obama administration rule.

While the state has fought the administration over immigration laws, it says it will honor certifications granted under the program called Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals.


A state trooper spokesman, Sgt. Steven Jarrett, says certain offices will begin issuing licenses under the program on Friday.


The state says 631 people have been approved for certification in Alabama, and as many as 1,500 could be.

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Private School Tax Credits
6:31 am
Thu March 14, 2013

Ala. Supreme Court Throws Out Order Stopping Bill

The Alabama Supreme Court ruled the lawsuit filed by the Alabama Education Association is premature and dismissed it. The order clears the way for Governor Bentley to sign private school tax credits into law.
apr.org

The Alabama Supreme Court has cleared the way for the governor to sign a bill to provide tax credits to some parents who send their children to private schools.


The Alabama Education Association sued over the legislation, and Montgomery County Circuit Judge Charles Price temporarily blocked the governor from signing the bill.

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Alabama Film Office
6:23 am
Thu March 14, 2013

Films, TV Shows done in Alabama Increased in 2012

The movie "A Smile As Big As A Moon" filmed in Alabama in 2011. Productions in the state increased in 2012.
facebook.com/FilmAlabama

TV, movie and video productions in Alabama increased in 2012.

The Alabama Film Office reports 31 projects were done in the state, and the production companies spent $33.5 million. That's up from $22 million in 2011. The secretary of the state Department of Commerce, Greg Canfield, said those productions provided more than 3,000 jobs.


Alabama offers rebates to production companies that choose the state, and those rebates totaled $9.5 million in 2012.

Oak Mountain State Park
5:56 am
Thu March 14, 2013

Large Burn Planned at Alabama's Biggest State Park

Lunker Lake at Oak Mountain State Park.
alapark.com

There's going to be a big fire at Alabama's largest state park, but it's all part of a plan.


Officials say they will ignite at least 130 acres at Oak Mountain State Park south of Birmingham on Thursday. It's a controlled burn meant to help promote the growth of longleaf pine trees in two areas.


Park officials conduct such burns regularly to get rid of smaller plants that compete with the pines.


Workers will burn about 130 acres of land near the park's campground, and later another 170 acres near a fishing lake.

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Mini Trial-Bill
4:41 pm
Wed March 13, 2013

House Moves To Eliminate Trials For Guilty Plea

A bill in the Alabama House aims to streamline ourtroom procedures in cases where the defendant has entered a guilty plea.

Alabama House members have moved forward with a bill to streamline courtroom procedures in cases where the defendant has entered a guilty plea.


Rep. Chris England of Tuscaloosa told fellow members of the House Judiciary Committee Wednesday that the three-day trial procedure in the Amy Bishop case cost the state nearly $500,000.


A hearing known as a "mini-trial" is held when a defendant will not face the death penalty. In those cases, the hearing serves no legal purpose.

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Car Title Loans
4:15 pm
Wed March 13, 2013

Ala. House Panel Oks Bill Regulating Title Loans

An Alabama House Committee has approved a bill that would regulate the issuing of title loans.
Credit blog.al.com

An Alabama House Committee has approved a bill that would regulate the issuing of title loans, while allowing most of the title loan businesses to continue operating.


The House Financial Services Committee approved the bill known as the Alabama Title Loan Act Wednesday on a voice vote with only one vote against the proposed legislation. The bill now goes to the full House for debate.

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Parks-Leases-Hotels
4:09 pm
Wed March 13, 2013

New Bill Would Make Leasing Of Alabama Lodging, Golf Possible

A map of the state parks and resorts in Alabama.
Credit http://www.alapark.com/ / Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources

A Senate committee has sent a bill to the floor that could allow private operators to lease lodging facilities and golf courses within 12 state parks.


The Senate Finance and Taxation-General Fund Committee approved the bill 8-2 Wednesday.


It would allow the Department of Conservation to generate and control the leases. State parks are supported by visitor fees. While some parks pay for themselves, others lose millions of dollars each year. Supporters say the bill could turn those numbers around.

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BP Money-Trust Fund
3:56 pm
Wed March 13, 2013

Bill To Repay Trust Fund Moves To Senate Floor

The Ala. Senate will debate a bill that would use BP settlement money from the 2010 Gulf Oil Spill to repay the Ala. Trust Fund.
Credit The Associated Press

Although it's unclear how much money Alabama may gain from the BP settlement, state lawmakers are making plans on how to use it.


A proposal passed Wednesday to allow the full Senate to debate using funds from BP oil spill lawsuits to repay the Alabama Trust Fund.


The Senate Committee for Finance and Taxation-General Fund voted 7-1 in favor of the measure. If passed, the measure would restore financing to the Rainy Day Fund.

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